Radio daze 2

Over the past week, I have received an unprecedented number of visits to this site, over comments I made about the massive changes occuring in the Ottawa radio scene.  I’m talking hundreds of visits.

People in Ottawa are clearly in despair about the shuffling of personnel and the dropping of old favorites, specifically Kevin Nelson and Bill Parker, from Majic 100 — the town’s favorite radio station. It’s nothing personal towards the new hosts, many of whom are well known about town, and are very popular.

But it’s disturbing to listeners.

And here, I think, is why.

It’s human nature not to like change of this kind. Not at all.

Our lives, our jobs and our families are always in turmoil or flux; we need to find things in our lives that don’t change, that are constants.

People used to go to church or  join the Rotary Club. They used to be able to count on their families, their friends and their children. Not anymore.

A lot of people feel isolated — single or stay at home mums, older people, folks who work from home, office workers who couldn’t get through the day without their radio pals. Still others just go to work and come home and don’ t have the benefit of a support system.

Television personalities fill this void to a certain extent, but radio personalities live in your head. They are as vital to many people as the first coffee of the day — or the first smoke or drink. For many people, radio people are part of their consciousness. Like good friends and family, we know all about them. They tell us about their spouses or significant others, about their parents, about what they planted on the weekend. They tell us jokes and make us laugh and take us out of ourselves.

What happened last week in Ottawa radio was like a psychological tsunami for people who count on their radio friends. Suddenly, people we’ve spent hours in the car with, or cooked breakfast with, suddenly disappeared from our lives, and we are now expected to deal with it. We don’t know where they went, if they’re all right.

There was no meet and greet, no send off, no gold watch.

Just a void.

We don’t know if maybe they’ll be gone for ever.

It’s upsetting for people.

The biggest issue people have in Ottawa is that so many people changed at once. It wasn’t one station. It was a bunch. So the changes are affecting a lot of people.

And we don’t know why.

People are gone and they won’t tell us why. One report had Kevin Nelson sick, another had Bill Parker retiring. I got a note from a reader saying that Bill got the boot. Nobody is telling us the truth.

New people are talking to us through our radio and we don’t know them. But we’re expected to welcome them.

It just doesn’t feel right.

I’d like to hear your views. I’m getting lots of click but a lot of radio silence.

I’m here all week.


3 Replies to “Radio daze 2”

  1. I think a lot of people find the abruptness and lack of communication difficult. On private radio, staff changes are usually sudden, surprising, and not explained. No chance for a host to say goodbye, no chance for listeners to brace themselves.

    1. It’s no secret he’s sick. Might be less known that his illness is at least in part self-inflicted. Doubt very much the citizen or any publication will ever shed light on the whole, or at least factual story.

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